Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Your tax £ at work

I am grateful to Dave of Solarventi for forwarding this: Recycling body hunts direct agency

This... 'its £40m marketing programme to tackle climate change' is a lot of money. However, in light of what we are facing, large sums are needed to tackle huge issues. But what about the ROI to derive a worthwhile enviROI?

My views on 'not-for-profit' as a model are well known (basically a good way to not make a profit is to blow as much internally as possible - real estate, staff, satellites, trips, conferences, pensions, bonuses, etc), especially when 'backed' (what does that mean?) by the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

The aims - to encourage businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more often, helping to minimise landfill, reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment - are laudable, but I simply question the methods and accountability.

Like the BBC (you hold those near and dear to a higher standard), I actually think a lot of what is being done by some departments is very good indeed, and probably more than worthwhile, but when it comes to comms and marketing, which I do know a bit about, the whole thing gets a lot murkier. And I still think there has to be some conflict in getting bonuses (why are public servants and guys like these, and the Environment Agency, on bonuses simply to do their jobs anyway? And it seems you get them even if you foul up) when they are based on targets and rates that will inevitably increase if your throw enough public money at them with awareness campaigns.

I ask a lot, but do intend to try and find some answers out if I can. But if anyone can help with deriving figures for what we spend vs. what we get back (they must be around surely, as a publicly accountable body?) with this mob, I'd be grateful.

Maybe they are worth every penny. But at the moment, I'm am not feeling the benefits of £40M.

And let's remember the vast number of other such entities getting similar amounts to play with, and which often seem, to me at least, to be overlapping if not actually confusing the issue with different messages all the time.

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